Talking to others about SDP is fun – at least for me [yes, I need to get a life!]. But there are so many people who are interested in this, and they’re at different stages in their journeys. There are even a few who have never had a weight problem who are interested!
Let’s take a fellow knitter – yes, you know who you are. She’s a rugby player with bad knees. But, fed up with her excess weight, she took her usual grace and determination, to a special, hospital-based program. She successfully lost her weight, and is in the essential maintenance mode. She started running again, and there went her knees, but she’s learned to take care of herself, to balance. She’s a star. I’m not sure she realizes how much I admire her and value her wisdom.
On the other end of the spectrum is a woman who told me – not in these words, though – that she’s eating her emotions. As we talked, I told her about some of my issues. She looked at me in silence for a few long seconds, and then said that I was scaring her. It was too familiar to her, I suppose. Maybe she thought that she was the only one doing it, or maybe she’d been beating herself up, thinking that this is a matter of will power that she’s just not getting.
It’s not. It’s a learned response to strong emotions. There are many paths to this, I’m sure, but the way out of it is NOT self-flagellation and condemnation. It takes kindness, focus, and the development of new skills. Not easy, we know, but step by step, day by day, we can make changes.
What’s the point of today’s ramblings? Just this: we can’t do this alone. The people I’ve seen who are successful are those who have developed strong support systems. These systems aren’t limited to friends, although they’re an essential part of it. Expert advice, access to information, having a place to discuss what’s going on, are all parts of successful support.
And, the longer we’re on the journey, the more ‘expert’ we become. At some point, we have the privilege of giving back.